I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Double Dragon Publishing on 6/3/2013
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A Tragic Warrior Lost in Two Worlds…
The war in Iraq ended for Lieutenant Freddie Williams when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once he was a skilled gamer and expert in virtual warfare. Now he’s a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he’s inhabiting two separate realities. The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse—and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of Becky, his physical therapist. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic that Freddie enters when he sleeps.
In his dreams he is Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, who must make sense of his horrific visions in order to save his embattled kingdom from the monstrous Horde. His only solace awaits him in the royal gardens, where the gentle words of the beautiful gardener, Rebecca, calm the storms in his soul. While in the conscious world, the severely wounded vet faces a strangely similar and equally perilous mission—a journey along a dark road haunted by demons of guilt and memory—and letting patient, loving Becky into his damaged and shuttered heart may be his only way back from Hell.
When I first sat down to read this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A book about a wounded soldier having delusional dreams? I’m not much into military fiction and was wondering if I would like it. Well I am glad I gave the book a shot. The writing is really well done and the story kept me engrossed throughout. It is the story of Freddie, who wakes up in a VA hospital after surviving an IED explosion in Iraq. Not only must he recuperate and learn to walk again, he must come to grips with the soldiers who died under his command, his sad childhood and family he lost, and learn to love again.
The book switches between his point of view in the real world, and one in a fantasy world from World of Warcraft. Most of the book takes place in the hospital with his interactions with the staff, and the other scenes take place in the fantasy world. There are also some parts outside of the hospital where he is visiting places from his past, or otherwise getting out for some fresh air. It is very well done and the two worlds parallel each other. And not only does it have the fantasy elements, there is a also a good romance going on in the novel. Character development is very well done (probably the central purpose of the book) and there were no slow spots for me.
There was a little bit of profanity in the book (to be expected from a soldier) and some strong topics (death by war, etc.), so maybe this is for the older-YA crowd. I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more great books by Mr. Litwack.